Alma Media Corporation Press release May 15, 2012 at 11:45 am (EEST)
THE "KIVI" REAL ESTATE AGENCY SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY ETUOVI.COM THE FIRST TO ENABLE DIGITAL SIGNATURES
The KIVI real estate agency system developed by the Etuovi.com online service, part of Alma Media Group, is the first such system in Finland that enables the electronic signing of real estate brokerage contracts. This new functionality is the first step towards making electronic deals in the real estate industry.
The possibility to sign contracts electronically introduces a quick and flexible option to consumers for starting to sell their homes. For estate agents, it means increased efficiency, time saving and competitive advantage. The electronic signature is implemented paying particular attention to EU's directive on e-commerce. According to the Good Real Estate Brokerage Practice, contract details cannot be altered by either party alone after the contract has been signed.
-The signing takes place through online banking user identification. All of the parties receive the brokerage contract and its explanations appendix by email, which enables them to print out the documents or save them on their own computer. The documents, together with the verification details, are also saved in the KIVI system, says Paula Jokisalo, Business Manager responsible for Etuovi.com's customer solutions.
The electronic signing possibility has been in use for the estate brokerage professionals using the Iso-KIVI version of the KIVI system since April. KIVI is the market leader in web-based systems for the residential housing and real estate business. The system is being used by hundreds of real estate agencies with a daily user base of approximately 1,500 agents.
A step towards electronic home sales
Electronic signing will renew the practices in the industry and bring genuine added value to brokers. This belief is shared by Pekka Ronkainen, Managing Director of Sp-Koti Oy, one of the agencies using the KIVI system:
-The electronic signature makes the start and management of the sales process easier and clearer, particularly in situations where there are several clients or people are working geographically far away from each other. The new system also modernises the real estate agent's work; consumers are already used to providing their identification details electronically. I believe electronic services will have an increasingly significant role in the real estate business in the future.
Markku Tahvanainen, Development Director in charge of the eServices for Housing and Building project at the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, emphasises that electronic transactions are part of people's day-to-day lives, and more opportunities are opening up in more and more areas of everyday life.
-The electronic signature that is now being made possible is one example of this development. I believe that in future, property and housing company shares will be sold and bought electronically. Electronic property sales is already under development, and according to the National Land Survey of Finland, the first electronic property transaction might be made as early as 2015.
For more information, please contact:
Business Manager, Etuovi.com Customer Solutions
Alma Mediapartners Oy
tel. +358 40 773 4644
Business Director, Housing
Alma Mediapartners Oy
tel. +358 40 700 4739
Etuovi.com in brief
Etuovi.com is a leading residential housing marketplace in Finland. The business of the Etuovi.com service comprises a nationwide online service for home and real estate sales, a special home sales publication and other real estate brokerage media and tools. The Etuovi.com online service has approximately 350,000 unique weekly visitors. Together with the Vuokraovi.com online service focusing on home rental, Etuovi.com reaches approximately 400,000 unique weekly visitors. Real estate brokerage systems developed by Etuovi.com have approximately 2,000 users. Etuovi.com is part of Alma Mediapartners Oy, a company in which Alma Media Corporation has a 65% share and Arena Partners Oy, a development company of several newspapers operating in Central Finland, a 35% share. www.etuovi.com
Alma Media in brief
Alma Media is a dynamic media company whose best-known products are the Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Kauppalehti and Etuovi.com. Alma Media employs approximately 3,000 professionals. The company's revenue in 2011 totalled MEUR 316.2 with an operating margin of 13.3 per cent. Alma Media's share (ALN1V) is listed in the Mid Cap segment of the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Read more: www.almamedia.com.